Taking Matchmaking to New Levels
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Taking Matchmaking to New Levels

Taking Matchmaking to New Levels

Addressing the growing singles challenge requires more than setting up introductions. We need to present one person to another.

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The Divine art of matchmaking requires more than introducing two people to each other. God did not merely introduce Adam and Eve -- it would have been hard for them not to meet under the circumstances, even without God playing the matchmaker! God presented Eve to Adam. The Midrash [1] tells how the Almighty adorned her like a bride with 24 different items of jewelry before allowing Adam to glimpse her. That's presentation.

Many people are doing a lot of introducing, but that is not enough to address the growing singles challenge. What we don't do enough of is presenting people to one another. There's a big difference between the two. Let's look at why the need for presentation and how to do it.

Why the need for presentation?

Finding your soul mate involves a miracle. It is natural for people to exaggerate both their own virtues and the flaws of others. This tendency makes it nearly impossible for a person to find someone truly worthy of him or her! But miraculously, people fall in love and the tendency reverses: the individual, blinded to the flaws of their beloved, sees only their virtues. (Based on Tiferret Tzion, B.R. 68:4)

We can help people not only to meet one another, but to also notice one another and become attracted to them.

We can play a part in facilitating that miracle. We can help people not only to meet one another, but to also notice one another and become attracted to them. We can do this by presenting people to one another instead of merely introducing them.

What is presentation?

Presentation is the art of helping people to overlook flaws and discover glory. We know how important the art of presentation is when we want to create desire. Chefs go to mighty efforts to present otherwise unappetizing bits of animal or vegetable as culinary masterpieces. We present ourselves well when we want to make an impression, masking our defects and accentuating our strengths. Shopkeepers and marketers seduce consumers with enticing presentation.

In romantic, social or business matchmaking, the same applies. If we truly want to create a connection between two people we need to do more than introduce them; we need to present them in ways that make them desirable. In short, we need to market them. It is much easier and more tasteful for us to promote one another than it is to promote ourselves: "Let a stranger praise you rather than praise yourself with your own mouth" (Proverbs 27:2). It is a great kindness to present others in a way that positions them well and saves them from having to promote themselves -- an action that the Torah reluctantly allows when anonymity is the alternative (Nedarim 62a).

How to present

Here are a few simple guidelines.

  1. Presentation never entails misrepresentation. Presentation means highlighting the positives that may normally take a new contact a long time to discover. It does not mean making up positives that are untrue, nor does it mean concealing the truth when a serious shidduch inquiry is made.
  2. If necessary do some research. Get to know the person you are presenting. Question them to learn about the more subtle and unusual aspects of their life experience.
  3. Think like a salesman: you get your "commission" for closing the sale, not for a mere introduction! If you apply your mind, in an instant you can develop a marketing strategy. Figure out how best to present the individual. Create the right conditions and timing.
  4. Create the opportunity in conversation and interaction, to "showcase" the person at their best. Facilitate opportunities for the person to shine in their own rights.
  5. Demonstrate palpable enthusiasm for the qualities of the person you are presenting. Avoid lack of authenticity and exaggeration, but do not shy away from superlative description where appropriate.

Let's go beyond introducing people to one another and present them to one another. Even if it does not result in marriage, you will have elevated a person's dignity instead of watching them lose it in the conventional dating scenes. Yes, it does take some thought and some effort. If it didn't, it wouldn't be the mitzvah it is.

[1] Bereishit Rabbah 18:1

Published: April 5, 2008


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Visitor Comments: 11

(11) Anonymous, May 2, 2008 2:57 AM

Awesome article....Awesome Advice !!!!

(10) Thomas, April 11, 2008 11:44 AM

To Sherry:

Sherry,

Using the term 'self involved men' to describe those of us who don't want to get married is a bit broad.

Some men, sure, want to 'play the field' or whatever, but don't assume that we all feel that way. Some of us don't even want to play the game at all!

(9) Sherry, April 7, 2008 7:14 PM

Self Involved Men

Alot of the men I know simply dont want to get married. They are very happy to date alot of different people and pursue their own hobbies and interests. They may actually say they want to get married someday but words are cheap.

(8) Stacy, April 7, 2008 12:30 PM

Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

Whether you are Orthodox or not (I'm not), you have to take matters into your own hands. I'm 34 and single and I make an effort to ask people regularly if they know someone to introduce me to, and to attend Jewish social and educational community events. I also see just as many Jewish women as men marrying out, so that is not a fair excuse. G-d helps those who help themselves; blaming others doesn't help!

(7) Anonymous, April 7, 2008 7:54 AM

Matchmakers became a business based on

Perfection and not a Chesed Mitzvah that it is suppose to be! I feel that both Shadchan, and Client want only to deal with non Flawed people- Perfect Robots with no feelings, no problems, just party happy folks. And Life Reality does not work in this misguided fashion. People are not beautties 24/ 7- they have good and bad days- and life is not just one big party. There is a time for everything, and no one has to be a beautiful wealthy person in order to be a Frum Jew. Basic Intellect, and basic Middiot is what is needed. Not Genius wealthy people are allowed to marry and be Frum in this community. But this is the message that we give out these days, and with this we are pushing more Jews to leave our Klal, and I don't blame them for feeling this way at all. Let us stop looking at Shidduchim as a Business deal of prefection and wealth, but as a means to build a true Bayit Neeman BiYisreoel, with Kavanah and Respect- and REALLY MEAN IT!
CHAG SOMEACH PEASACH TO ALL- LET US RID OF THE CHOMETZ WITH OUR CHOMETZDIKAH NOTIONS OF LIFE!
a simple message from a simple friend.

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